IHoP-NH: Arnie Alpert Helped Make Death Penalty ‘History’

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Arnie Alpert, co-director of the American Friends Service Committee in New Hampshire, celebrates with Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, after the Senate voted to override Gov. Sununu's veto of the death penalty repeal bill.

IHoP-NH – In the Hallways oPower-NH

Paula Tracy, InDepthNH.org

InDepthNH.org’s Paula Tracy talks every week with people from around New Hampshire who come to the State House and Legislative Office Building in Concord about why they do so.

We call her video column In the Hallways oPower-NH, IHoP-NH.


CONCORD – It has been a long time coming for Arnie Alpert to be able to say the New Hampshire death penalty is “history.”

The Canterbury resident came to the State House Thursday and he was able to say just that at noon.

Arnie Alpert talks about the history of repealing the death penalty in NH. Paula Tracy video

InDepthNH.org caught up with him after the Senate voted 16-8 to override the governor’s veto of the death penalty repeal bill after the measure recently passed the House along similar lines, with just the two-thirds majority necessary for a veto override.

For more than 30 years, Alpert has been working to abolish the state’s death penalty as a member of the board of the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and as co-director of the New Hampshire program of the American Friends Service Committee.

The latter is a Quaker organization dedicated to social justice, peace and nonviolent action.

Alpert began his nonviolent activism in New Hampshire in 1976 and became a member of the Clamshell Alliance, which fought the development of nuclear power in Seabrook and then took on former Gov. Meldrim Thomson.

He later played a central role in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with a state holiday by working legislation through the State House in 1999.

He called the vote to abolish the death penalty this week, “gratifying,” noting it took a diverse coalition and many years to finally get the legislature to “do the right thing” so he could finally say “the death penalty is history.”

Paula Tracy has more than 30 years of experience as a news reporter. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s writing program with a minor in local government studies, she spent five years as a daily reporter in Massachusetts before returning to her native state where she worked for 25 years as a senior staff reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader, then for several years at WMUR.

A resident of Center Harbor, Paula Tracy will be looking for you In the Hallways oPower-NH in Concord. Contact Tracy at paulatracy6@gmail.com.

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